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Sweet n Savory Roast Beef Sandwich


Sometimes I think I'm slow. For example, within the past year I've put forth a sincere effort to buy more locally made food products, produce, and proteins. Having an inspired love for where you reside or a deep respect for the cultivation of the food we eat has already lead many, many people to become active in the local food movement. I suppose that's why I think I'm slow; I should have been doing this as long as I've been shopping for food.

Along my local journey I have seen and eaten some of Florida's most beautiful edible creatures. The light and sweet oranges off the Triolo's backyard tree, Plant City gargantuan strawberries taken home as the prize from The Florida Strawberry Festival, and bulbous, sweet Florida white onions with long flowing green top stems are just the few named fresh and local Florida foods I now can not bear to live without. That's not even mentioning the gator! (Ok, gator isn't so out-of-this-world great. It tastes like chicken, but with added rubber and less flavor. Maybe that's a solid indicator suggesting we're not shouldn't to eat prehistoric animals...)

And then there is Orlando's own Big Wheel Provision's Strawberry Balsamic Jam.  Man, oh man do I love this jam.

REVIEW : Big Wheel Provision's Strawberry Balsamic Jam

We've chatted with Chef Tony Adams of Big Wheel Provisions about his company in late 2009, and he champions using and selling local foods like many young chefs and food artisans of this conscientious era. Whenever we cross paths at any one of our local farmer's markets I'm always grinning to sample his new wares, so the moment I tasted the Strawberry Balsamic Jam's lightly biting, subtle sweetness with a smooth, silky texture I couldn't relinquish my dollar bills fast enough for my very own jar.

This jam is a dynamo as a cupboard go-to BOOM ingredient. A BOOM ingredient is an ingredient you know is going to take your dish over the top of deliciousness. It's perfect on toast and kicks up that crusty old dish to eleven with a fabulous modern flavor, it is beyond yummy on a variety of waffle flavors, a serious BFF to all chicken (as a glaze, dollyfish it is de-vine!), and my people roast beef should not ever, ever live without it. That last exclamation brings us to today's recipe and memory-inspired, Sweet n Savory Roast Beef Sandwich.

FAMILY : Saturday Sandwiches

This little ditty came to me on one of my beloved cooking days. As a 9-5er, my Saturdays in the kitchen must be like how artists feel when they can finally paint or sculpt in sheer solace and peace. I just trance out and cook and eat all day. Last Saturday I was on a roll and I decided to cook until I dropped.  The day started by roasting peppercorn beef shoulder filets and a butternut squash for risotto, plus another practice run of my peach pie for The National Pie Championships just around the corner (more about that later).

All this food was dinner of course for me and my mister, but in the middle of it all I became seriously hungry and really wanted a good old Saturday sandwich. When I was just a wee gal Ma made sandwiches on Saturdays to break-up the house cleaning  monotony, or for a well-deserved rest from making new blankets from old ones or tending the flower garden, or as a reward for winning my little league softball game.  Her favorite sandwich when she was being bad (ladies know) and totally treating herself was an open-face tuna sandwich with celery and onion on rye with New Jersey tomato slices and American cheese. Mama Mia, the meltiness!

Dear God I can taste that sandwich even as I write about it now. But those are days gone-by and today I hardly eat mayo unless is Grapeseed Oil Veganaise because I have an odd infatuation with that spread. (Its grapes! Amazing.) These days I go ga-ga over sweet and savory flavor combination, and when it dawned on me that I simultaneously had freshly roasted beef and strawberry balsamic jam beckoning to me I knew I could taste nostalgia with my own open-face sandwich creation. And just like that a flavor epiphany and a food memory became the spectacular Open-Face Sweet n Savory Roast Beef Sandwich.


  • 1 lb peppercorn beef shoulder filets =  about 4 sandwiches.
  • 4 large pieces of whole grain sourdough bread
  • strawberry balsamic jam
  • 4 cups fresh arugula; measure with pushing the arugula into the cups.
  • 8 slices of fontinella cheese; 2 per sandwich
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Roast the peppercorn beef shoulder filet at 325 for 40-50 minutes depending on desired done-ness. I like medium rare, so I stopped at about 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Turn oven up to 400.
  4. Lightly toast pieces of bread in the oven.
  5. Rough chop up arugula and remove any long stem pieces from the pile.
  6. Cutting against the grain, cut 3 large, thin pieces of beef per sandwich.
  7. Smear each piece of bread with strawberry balsamic jam from Big Wheel Provisions.
  8. Layer roast beef pieces on top of the jam.
  9. Place about 1 cup of fresh arugula on top of the steak.
  10. Cover the arugula with fontinella cheese and put it into the 400 degree hot oven.
  11. Let the cheese completely melt; about 3-4 minutes.
  12. Take the open-face sandwich out of the oven and cut in half-lengthwise.
  13. Serve immediately for a sweet and savory sexy roast beef sandwich





  • citronetvanille

    March 18, 2010 @ 11:17 pm

    Rachel, great sandwich you made there, very mouth watering with that melting cheese!

  • Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite

    March 19, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

    That looks amazing Rachel. I love the oooey gooey melted cheese!

  • Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    March 20, 2010 @ 9:17 pm

    Yep, that’s a sexy sandwich if ever I saw one. I’m doing housework today… might have to follow in the sandwich footsteps of you and your Mother :)

  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz

    March 22, 2010 @ 11:53 am

    What a fascinating and unexpected combination of flavors. bravo!

  • doggybloggy

    March 22, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

    this conjures up all kinds of ideas – this sandwich looks like you are supposed to eat it with a fork – and I gladly would!

  • Joanne

    March 23, 2010 @ 4:45 am

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love your writing style and all of your food looks amazing.

    This sandwich reminds me of a Monte Cristo taken to a whole new level with beef instead of pork…just the way I like it.

    Saturday is one of my favorite days to cook as well. The weekdays are just so hectic that I try to get all my major projects done then. Sometimes that’s easier said than done though…

  • The Duo Dishes

    March 23, 2010 @ 5:59 am

    Just wanted to say the new layout looks great! So clean and fresh. Plus, your photo of that sandwich has one person’s mouth watering, and it’s only 6 am.

  • Laura

    March 23, 2010 @ 11:10 am

    Love the new site lady! Looks amazing, as does gooey delicious sandwich.

    I’ve nominated you for an award on my blog. I hope you can swing by SoCal and check it out!

    Have a good day,
    -Laura :)

  • sweetlife

    March 23, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

    what a great sandwich…looks delish!! great blog


  • lululu

    March 25, 2010 @ 6:34 am

    I’ve never successfully melted the cheese beautifully for my sandwich. the cheese were either still cold inside or not melted at all.
    your open sandwich recipe sounds great. i think i should try your way!

  • diva

    March 25, 2010 @ 10:17 am

    check out how that fontinella cheese has melted! I so want this for dinner. It’s total food porn. x

  • Food o' del Mundo

    March 25, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

    This sandwich sounds truly AMAZING and that jam – well, over the TOP!
    atah girl for trying your damndest to stay local.

  • Mark @ Cafe Campana

    March 26, 2010 @ 2:18 am

    Great looking snack filled with meaty and cheesy goodness.

  • Divina

    March 26, 2010 @ 7:42 am

    Wow, this beef sandwich is a must have. They’re so gorgeous and flavorful. I haven’t visited you in a long while.

  • Kevin (Closet Cooking)

    March 26, 2010 @ 6:42 pm

    I really like the use of the strawberry balsamic jam in this savoury sandwich.

  • Dhale

    March 31, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

    Loving the new look!!!

    And this looks yummy with the dripping goodness of cheese! You just inspired me to recreate this using a tomato chili jam I received as a gift during our trip to Costa Rica!

  • Stacy

    April 9, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

    oh my goodness, I have to try this sandwich!

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    February 8, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    [...] Sweet and Savory Roast Beef Sandwich (from Laptops & Stovetops) [...]

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